Konstantin Chernenko

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Konstantin Chernenko
Константин Черненко
Chernenko in 1982
General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
In office
9 February 1984 – 10 March 1985
Preceded byYuri Andropov
Succeeded byMikhail Gorbachev
President of the Soviet Union
In office
11 April 1984 – 10 March 1985
Preceded byYuri Andropov
Succeeded byAndrei Gromyko
Second Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
In office
10 November 1982 – 9 February 1984
Preceded byYuri Andropov
Succeeded byMikhail Gorbachev
Personal details
Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko

(1911-09-24)24 September 1911
Bolshaya Tes, Yeniseysk Governorate, Russian Empire
Died10 March 1985(1985-03-10) (aged 73)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Cause of deathEmphysema and heart failure
Resting placeKremlin Wall Necropolis, Moscow, Russian Federation
Political partyCommunist Party of the Soviet Union
Spouse(s)Faina Vassilyevna Chernenko
Anna Dmitrievna Lyubimova
ChildrenAlbert Chernenko
Vera Chernenko
Yelena Chernenko
Vladimir Chernenko

Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko (Russian language: Константи́н Усти́нович Черне́нко September 24, 1911 – March 10, 1985)[1] was a Soviet Politician who briefly ruled The Soviet Union. Born to a poor family from Siberia, Chernenko joined the Communist Party in 1931. He was later elected to become a full member of the Politburo in 1978. Following the death of Leonid Brezhnev and his successor Yuri Andropov, Chernenko was elected General Secretary in February 1984. During his brief time in office, Chernenko continued Andropov's reforms. However, his term was cut short due to health problems and he died on March 10, 1985 after leading the country for only 13 months.

Biography[change | change source]

Early Life and Career[change | change source]

Chernenko's Party Card (1973)

Konstantin Chernenko was born to a poor peasant family on September 24, 1911, in Bolshaya Tes, Russia. He became a member of the Communist Party in 1931 and worked in various party and government positions, eventually rising through the ranks.

Personal Life[change | change source]

Chernenko married twice, Faina Vassilyevna Chernenko and Anna Dmitrevna Lyubimova. Together, they had 4 children, a son named Albert and had two daughters, Yelena and Vera, and a son, Vladimir.

Rising through the ranks[change | change source]

Document of Chernenko sized from the US embassy in Tehran

He started as a Komsomol activist, later joining the Communist Party. Chernenko held various party positions, showcasing his loyalty to the Soviet regime. His proximity to power increased under Brezhnev, eventually becoming a full member of the Politburo in 1978. After Brezhnev's death in 1982, Chernenko briefly severed as Second Secretary during the brief rule of Yuri Andropov until Andropov's death in February 1984.

Rule (1984 – 1985)[change | change source]

World Map of Socialist and Communist countries during Chernenko's Brief rule

Chernenko served as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1984 until his death in 1985. Chernenko pursued a conservative foreign policy, maintaining a firm stance against the West. Domestically, he faced health issues, hindering significant reforms, and his brief tenure limited major policy shifts. Chernenko's tenure is often associated with the later years of the Cold War and the Soviet Union's internal challenges.

Health Problems[change | change source]

Chernenko faced various health issues during his brief time in office from 1984 to 1985. He suffered from emphysema and other respiratory problems, likely exacerbated by his heavy smoking. These health issues ultimately contributed to his death in March 1985.

Legacy[change | change source]

Chernenko's legacy is often overshadowed by his predecessors and the subsequent changes in Soviet leadership. Chernenko's time in office was marked by health issues, and he passed away after just 13 months. His legacy is tied to the later years of the Cold War, but his impact on Soviet history is limited compared to other leaders.

References[change | change source]

  1. Jessup, John E. (1998). Profile of Konstantin Chernenko. Greenwood Publishing. ISBN 9780313281129.
Preceded by
Yuri Andropov
General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party
Succeeded by
Mikhail Gorbachev